Review Summary: Summoning the classics for this tomb could use some RIFFS.
Consider yourself very cursed by the time the twin guitar solos of "Cthonic Exordium" are put to rest by the summoning rumble from within the deepest catacombs. The Tritonus Bell
tolls for us all, announcing the arrival of Finnish death doom troopers Hooded Menace's six full length, and few are those who will escape its diabolical reach.
In this new recording, classic heavy metal meets the band's distinctive brand of crushing death and doom metal to create a spawn of spooky riffs and heavy pounding beats that proof Hooded Menace's love for the likes of early Paradise Lost, Candlemass, King Diamond and even Randy Rhoads era Ozzy Osbourne. In fact, they even dared with a cover of W.A.S.P's " The Torture Never Ends" that makes you wish they released a full album of covers. The songs are few, but long, packed to the brim with sepulchral growls and corpulent guitars that generously shred through dozens of different parts within the same track.
Undead choral chants, ephemeral acoustic sections and even some spoken word passages also contribute to make every song of The Tritonus Bell
a monster of its own. The first part of the album is heavily loaded with this blend of influences, with "Chime Diabolicus" and highlight "Blood Ornaments" unleashing the best of the band's hefty catalogue alongside this newfound appreciation for the classics, while "Those Who Absorb The Night", placed in the middle of the album and also the shortest track, starkly evokes the doom of old, the sound of pioneers My Dying Bride and again, Paradise Lost, with melodies that reminisce the days of Gothic
, creating a space where this timeless scent is enshrouded by the Finn's usual heavy duty marrow of death metal.
"Corpus Asunder" sets off with a galloping riff ala Iron Maiden before diving into doom waters again in a neverending exchange between guitar harmonies and the cavernous growls of Harri Kuokkanen. "Scattered Into Dark" is the last "real" track before the instrumental "Instruments Of Somber Finality" and the W.A.S.P. cover end Hooded Menace's latest release, and in spite of the 9 minute cut raining over wet soil, the band sounds committed to the same devotion to the big names of the genre than the preceding tracks, skillfully assembling the different elements needed to create an outstanding piece.
The Tritonus Bell
continues the stellar run the band from Joensuu has had since their conception in 2007, this time with a brief but fantastic collection of tracks that boast its 80s metal influences and infuse them with the burdening melancholy of 90s doom, all through the experienced ears of King Diamond's axeman Andy LaRocque at the controls, who has undoubtedly helped to shape up this record the way it should be.